Wind Energy Handbook by Burton and Sharpe

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Wind Energy Handbook by Burton and Sharpe

PDF Free Download | Wind Energy Handbook by Tony Burton, David Sharpe, Nick Jenkins, and Ervin Bossanyi.

Wind Energy Handbook Contents

  • Introduction
  • The Wind Resource
  • Aerodynamics of Horizontal-axis Wind Turbines
  • Wind-turbine Performance
  • Design Loads for Horizontal-axis Wind Turbines
  • Conceptual Design of Horizontal Axis Wind Turbines
  • Component Design
  • The Controller
  • Wind-turbine Installations and Wind Farms
  • Electrical Systems

Introduction to Wind Energy Handbook

Historical Development

Windmills have been used for at least 3000 years, mainly for grinding grain or pumping water, while in sailing ships the wind has been an essential source of power for even longer.

From as early as the thirteenth century, horizontal-axis windmills were an integral part of the rural economy and only fell into disuse with the advent of cheap fossil-fuelled engines and then the spread of rural electrification.

The use of windmills (or wind turbines) to generate electricity can be traced back to the late nineteenth century with the 12 kW DC windmill generator constructed by Brush in the USA and the research undertaken by LaCour in Denmark.

However, for much of the twentieth century, there was little interest in using wind energy other than for battery charging for remote dwellings, and these low-power systems were quickly replaced once access to the electricity grid became available.

One notable exception was the 1250 kW Smith–Putnam wind turbine constructed in the USA in 1941. This remarkable machine had a steel rotor 53 m in diameter, full-span pitch control, and flapping blades to reduce loads.

Although a blade spar failed catastrophically in 1945, it remained the largest wind turbine constructed for some 40 years (Putnam, 1948).

Golding (1955) and Shepherd and Divine in Spera (1994) provide a fascinating history of early wind turbine development.

They record the 100 kW 30 m diameter Balaclava wind turbine in the then USSR in 1931 and the Andrea Enfield 100 kW 24 m diameter pneumatic design constructed in the UK in the early 1950s.

In this turbine hollow blades, open at the tip, were used to draw air up through the tower where another turbine drove the generator.

In Denmark, the 200 kW 24 m diameter Gedser machine was built in 1956 while Electricite´ de France tested a 1.1 MW 35 m diameter turbine in 1963. In Germany, Professor Hutter constructed a number of innovative, lightweight turbines in the 1950s and 1960s.

In spite of these technological advances and enthusiasm, among others, of Golding at the Electrical Research Association in the UK, there was little sustained interest in wind generation until the price of oil rose dramatically in 1973.

The sudden increase in the price of oil stimulated a number of substantial Government-funded programs of research, development, and demonstration.

In the USA this led to the construction of a series of prototype turbines starting with the 38 m diameter 100 kW Mod-0 in 1975 and culminating in the 97.5 m diameter 2.5 MW Mod-5B in 1987. Similar programs were pursued in the UK, Germany, and Sweden.

There was considerable uncertainty as to which architecture might prove the most cost-effective and several innovative concepts were investigated at full scale.

In Canada, a 4 MW vertical-axis Darrieus wind turbine was constructed and this concept was also investigated in the 34 m diameter Sandia Vertical Axis Test Facility in the USA.

In the UK, an alternative vertical-axis design using straight blades to give an ‘H’ type rotor was proposed by Dr. Peter Musgrove and a 500 kW prototype constructed.

In 1981 an innovative horizontal-axis 3 MW wind turbine was built and tested in the USA. This used hydraulic transmission and, as an alternative to a yaw drive, the entire structure was orientated into the wind.

The best choice for the number of blades remained unclear for some while and large turbines were constructed with one, two, or three blades.

Much important scientific and engineering information was gained from these Government-funded research programs and the prototypes generally worked as designed.

However, it has to be recognized that the problems of operating very large wind turbines, unmanned and in difficult wind climates were often underestimated and the reliability of the prototypes was not good.

At the same time as the multi-megawatt prototypes were being constructed private companies, often with considerable state support, were constructing much smaller, often simpler, turbines for commercial sale.

In particular, the financial support mechanisms in California in the mid-1980s resulted in the installation of a very large number of quite small (, 100 kW) wind turbines.

A number of these designs also suffered from various problems but, being smaller, they were, in general, easier to repair and modify. The so-called ‘Danish’ wind turbine concept emerged of a three-bladed, stall-regulated rotor and a fixed-speed, induction machine drive train.

This deceptively simple architecture has proved to be remarkably successful and has now been implemented on turbines as large as 60 m in diameter and at ratings of 1.5 MW.

The machines of Figures 1.1 and 1.2 are examples of this design. However, as the sizes of commercially available turbines now approach that of the large prototypes of the 1980s it is interesting to see that the concepts investigated then of variable-speed operation, full-span control of the blades, and advanced materials are being used increasingly by designers.

Figure 1.3 shows a wind farm of direct-drive, variable-speed wind turbines. In this design, the synchronous generator is coupled directly to the aerodynamic rotor so eliminating the requirement for a gearbox.

Figure 1.4 shows a more conventional, variable-speed wind turbine that uses a gearbox, while a small wind farm of pitch-regulated wind turbines, where full-span control of the blades is used to regulate power, is shown in Figure 1.5.

The stimulus for the development of wind energy in 1973 was the price of oil and concern over limited fossil-fuel resources.

Now, of course, the main driver for use of wind turbines to generate electrical power is the very low CO2 emissions (over the entire life cycle of manufacture, installation, operation, and decommissioning) and the potential of wind energy to help limit climate change.

In 1997 the Commission of the European Union published its White Paper (CEU, 1997) calling for 12 percent of the gross energy demand of the European Union to be contributed from renewables by 2010.

Wind energy was identified as having a key role to play in the supply of renewable energy with an increase in installed wind turbine capacity from 2.5 GW in 1995 to 40 GW by 2010.

This target is likely to be achievable since at the time of writing, January 2001, there was some 12 GW of installed wind-turbine capacity in Europe, 2.5 GW of which was constructed in 2000 compared with only 300 MW in 1993.

The average annual growth rate of the installation of wind turbines in Europe from 1993–9 was approximately 40 percent (Zervos, 2000).

The distribution of wind-turbine capacity is interesting with, in 2000, Germany accounting for some 45 percent of the European total, and Denmark and Spain each having approximately 18 percent.

There is some 2.5 GW of capacity installed in the USA of which 65 percent is in California although with increasing interest in Texas and some states of the midwest.

Many of the California wind farms were originally constructed in the 1980s and are now being re-equipped with larger modern wind turbines.

Table 1.1 shows the installed wind-power capacity worldwide in January 2001 although it is obvious that with such rapid growth in some countries data of this kind become out of date very quickly.

The reasons development of wind energy in some countries is flourishing while in others it is not fulfilling the potential that might be anticipated from a simple consideration of the wind resource, are complex.

Important factors include the financial-support mechanisms for wind-generated electricity, the process by which the local planning authorities give permission for the construction of wind farms, and the perception of the general population particularly with respect to visual impact.

In order to overcome the concerns of the rural population over the environmental impact of wind farms, there is now increasing interest in the development of sites offshore.

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